Three Rhyming Words: RAD, BAD, SAD!!!!

There are times when I wish I could tell parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) that everything will turn out all right for their child. It makes me so sad when I hear stories of how some of these kids carry their trauma into bad relationships or worse.

Sad Face

The worst is what happened to my child with RAD trauma. She was always a victim, even when she thought she wasn’t. She was going to do what she wanted to “come hell or high water!”

When she was arrested for shoplifting, according to her, it was my fault. I had made her so mad, she knew just what to do to get even with me. She knew I didn’t tolerate stealing, so she stole a $2.98 necklace and a $1.00 pencil from a department store. Her mistake was playing a game machine for a couple of hours and the police were ready when she left the store.

Police Badge

Of course, I was called to come get her. I was livid! The police told me it was my responsibility to see that she went to court. At that point, I personally wanted to give her to the police and let them handle her. But no, I took her home and, sad to say, I railed at her for about an hour.

Yelling is such a wasted time and effort with these kids with RAD. After years of experience working with families of kids with RAD, I know better, but then I didn’t.

I took my daughter to Juvenile Court hoping the judge would explain to her it was really a bad thing to steal. It was such a learning experience for me to find out that it was all my fault that she took things without paying for them.

At that point I let the judge have it. I explained in no uncertain terms that she needed to take responsibility for her actions and I was NOT responsible for the actions she took. I grabbed my daughter’s arm and marched out of the judge’s court while he sat there with his mouth open!

brown gavel
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on

I hate to say it, but people in authority have never intimated me. They’ve tried, I don’t know how many times, but it just doesn’t work with me. I hear stories all the time how families are treated nastily by police, judges, social workers, therapists and teachers.

When my daughter started missing school, I found out that she was sloughing to be with this kid she met at a store at Christmas time. She didn’t take into consideration the principal would call and let me know she was missing.

When confronted, she lied and tried to convince me that she was going to school, the principal just didn’t see her. Well, that didn’t fly. I followed her the next day and watched where she went. She headed directly to her new boyfriend’s apartment.

Sorry guys, I lost my temper again. She could always push my buttons. I feel really sorry, but kids with RAD do this so frequently, it’s part of the RAD diagnosis.

Kara and Johnny

She eventually became pregnant by this boyfriend.  My choices were let them get married, move out of the state, have her have an abortion or let her become a single mother. None of my choices were really exceptionally great, so I let her marry him.

At the time they married, he had a steady job and making enough to support them.  That lasted about six weeks until he was fired. I never knew why, but I think he stole money from the company. He was definitely a thief and sold drugs.

My daughter has four children all of them fathered by this criminal she was married to. The three boys have been in prison off and on for the last 20 years. My granddaughter is the only one who’s never been in trouble.


My daughter’s husband is in prison with a terminal life sentence for killing a woman, which should be carried out in 2022. My daughter is in prison until 2023 because she wouldn’t get help to prevent her husband’s killing of the woman.

I don’t know if she has changed her thought processes and probably won’t ever really know. I do know this, as do families whose children have left their homes in tatters, that I’m not looking forward to ever meeting her again in person.

I know my story is somewhat unique, but there have always been problems with adopted children.  The early childhood trauma experienced by children available for adoption has given the practice a bad image. There are thousands upon thousands who have been adopted and have grown up totally loved and successful. I salute those children’s parents every day.


Thanks for reading

If you’d like more information, please email me at lamp1685@annlamphere

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Published by annla1441

Adoption Social Worker. Lived in Utah

One thought on “Three Rhyming Words: RAD, BAD, SAD!!!!

  1. Wow! Your story mirrors mine in some ways not all. I had so much hope for the future when we adopted ours. Not sure I would’ve done it if I’d known. I think all adoptive parents need to be taught about this! It’s so sad the way it’s gone for our girls. Wasted lives that started out with so much promise. Very sad.

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